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Bakdash, J. Z., Augustyn, J. S., and Proffitt, D. R. (2006). Large displays enhance spatial knowledge of a virtual environment. In ACM Siggraph Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization, 59-62.

Previous research has found performance for several egocentric tasks to be superior on physically large displays relative to smaller ones, even when visual angle is held constant. This finding is believed to be due to the more immersive nature of large displays. In our experiment, we examined if using a large display to learn a virtual environment (VE) would improve egocentric knowledge of the target locations. Participants learned the location of five targets by freely exploring a desktop large-scale VE of a city on either a small (25 diagonally) or large (72 diagonally) screen. Viewing distance was adjusted so that both displays subtended the same viewing angle. Knowledge of the environment was then assessed using a head-mounted display in virtual reality, by asking participants to stand at each target and point at the other unseen targets. Angular pointing error was significantly lower when the environment was learned on a 72 display. Our results suggest that large displays are superior for learning a virtual environment and the advantages of learning an environment on a large display may transfer to navigation in the real world.

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